Speaking on ‘Politics Today’ a programme on Channels Televison on Sunday, Mr Tope Aluko, an embattled secretary of the Ekiti state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party gave a breakdown of how the 2014 Ekiti governorship election was rigged in favour of the PDP governorship candidate, now Governor, Ayodele Fayose.
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Aluko, who, apologized to the people of Ekiti for being one of those who played major roles in bringing Fayose, his friend of over 40 years to power as governor, said what took place in the guise of election was a high level manipulation.
Aluko, who was chairman, Security and Intelligence Committee of Fayose Campaign Organisation, is now full of regrets for being part of the Ekiti Project, which was the major campaign point of the PDP that had been jettisoned by Governor Fayose.
Aluko opened a can of worms and gave an insider account of how the military was allegedly used to rig the election that Fayose won under PDP.
Aluko, who was the Chief PDP agent and signed the results for the election, also disclosed how former President Goodluck Jonathan allegedly gave Fayose $37 million cash to prosecute the governorship election.
Aluko had also testified in camera before the military panel that investigated the role of the military in the Ekiti election.
Aluko, who said he was part of Fayose’s inner circle during the election, alleged that Jonathan initially gave the incumbent Ekiti governor a first tranche of $2 million in March 2014 for the primary election, noting that this cash was collected at the NNPC headquarters in Abuja and taken to Fayose’s private house in Abuja before it was moved to Ekiti.
“Immediately after the primary election, we collected. another $35 million from Jonathan on June 17, 2014. The money was brought to us by the former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.
“We all assembled at the front office of Spotless Hotel, Ado Ekiti, owned by Fayose. Thereafter, the cash was taken to a Bureau De Change in Onitsha where it was converted to N4.7 billion,” Aluko added.
Aluko further alleged that Fayose received about N3 billion cash from a serving senator from Ogun State to revive the PDP in Ekiti State.
Giving account of how the military was used to win the election, he said:
“The former President agreed with Fayose and summoned a security meeting at the Presidential Villa for the purpose of the election. Those at the meeting were the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh; then Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Kenneth Minimmah; and former National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu.
“Others included Fayose, Senator Iyiola Omisore, then Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan and Obanikoro. At that meeting, the former President made it clear to the ex-Chief of Defence Staff that Fayose would stand for him (as Commander-In-Chief) in terms of providing security for the election”.
Aluko alleged that Fayose, relying on Jonathan’s directive, approached the former Commander of the Army Brigade in Akure, Brig. Gen. Dikko, to take charge of the election for the PDP, who refused to cooperate and was replaced after a petition was filed against him.
“But Gen. Dikko did not give us audience. He stated bluntly that he would not be available for such operation. So Fayose sponsored a petition against him which led to his replacement with Brig. Gen. Aliyu Momoh who was amenable to our plans”.
Aluko alleged that 64 PDP stalwarts, who had knowledge of their local governors were picked to help with information on opposition members. “They gave detailed information regarding names and locations of opposition members in all the local governments, the various routes, areas of strength and weaknesses of the PDP in the 16 local governments.
“Today, most of these 64 hatchet men are members of the Senate, House of Representatives, state House of Assembly, commissioners, local government chairmen, special advisers and the rest.”
He continued: “We went into the election with 1040 recognised soldiers and another batch of 400 unrecognised soldiers brought from Enugu by Senator Andy Uba.
In addition, we raised 44 special strike teams brought in Toyota Hilux vans from Abuja and Onitsha. We made special stickers for the vehicles that conveyed members of the strike team and black hand bands for each of them.
“Each strike team was made up of 10 members headed by a soldier and comprising soldiers, policemen, DSS operatives and Civil Defence corps. They were detailed to attack and arrest prominent APC chieftains in all the local governments.
We set up anchorage, mainly residential houses, in every local government where the strike team members collected their welfare and other allowances.
To encourage the strike team members, we gave them orders to share money and other valuables they could lay their hands on in the houses of APC chieftains they raided.
“Then we set up detention camps, mainly in primary schools where most of the APC chieftains were detained. Others were detained in police stations where the DPOs were friendly with us. We let them off after the election was over.
“A day to the election, we used the military to block all routes in the local governments and prevented APC chieftains, including former Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi from coming into Ekiti. So we ensured that no APC chieftain was in sight on election day. We provided polling agents for the APC in most of the polling units so we had no problem getting them to sign election results in the units.
“All the local and foreign observers that described the election as free and fair only witnessed the voting exercise on election day without knowing what transpired before the voting”.
He added: “If Koli hadn’t spoken out they would have taken this to Osun State and then Fayose betrayed Omisore again because they were now fighting for who will become the South west leader. This Mua’zu that Fayose was abusing gave us N20 million for Fayose’s primaries. That was why Mua’zu was saying he should stop talking or he will spill the bean. He started attacking Mua’zu after the party won because there was another N500 million he released for court cases which was supposed to be for the whole nation but Fayose thought it was for him alone so he went to meet Mua’zu for the N500 million. He actually reported to Jonathan twice until Mua’zu explained in the presence of Jonathan and that was the beginning of the Fayose and Mua’zu problems.”
On why he was coming up with the revelations, Aluko said: “Before the election, Fayose, Femi Bamishile and I jointly swore with the Holy Bible on a sharing formula after we must have won the election. We agreed that Fayose would be governor, Bamishile his deputy and I Chief of Staff. But the moment he got into office, Fayose reneged on the agreement and left me in the lurch. More worrisome is the fact that Fayose has derailed from the original Ekiti project we envisaged”.
It would be recalled that early this month, the high powered board of Inquiry set up by the Nigerian Army to investigate petitions and allegations of unprofessional conducts by some officers and soldiers during the 2014 Ekiti and Osun States gubernatorial elections, submitted its report to the Chief of Army Staff General Yakubu Buratai.
See documents Aluko presented as evidence below:
Listen to the election rigging tape tape from last year below:
Countering Mr Aluko’s claims, a spokesman to the Governor of Ekiti State, Lere Olayinka, said he was not surprised that Mr Aluko would make such claims, insisting that he (Aluko) was of an unstable character.
He further claimed that Mr Aluko had been involved in different crimes, ranging from admission racketeering, issuance of certificates to students while he was a lecturer.
“If he comes here to say some of these things, you should just laugh it off. He had said it by himself that he was here to say all these because Governor Fayose did not make him the Chief of Staff. If he received a call that he had been appointed as the Chief of Staff, he will come back here to say that all he said was not true,” he stressed, insisting that people should only be believed if they have integrity.
Mr Olayinka further stated that Mr Aluko had appeared before a Tribunal to say that the election in Ekiti was not rigged, insisting that the documents presented by Mr Aluko were put together by him.
Sources: Channels, Sahara Reporters, Nigerian Eye